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Young people have their voices heard by First Minister during Kibble visit

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has heard from young people living in care at one of Kibble’s specialist sites in Paisley, home to those who have experienced significant trauma and adversity.

The visit was part of her commitment to listen to the voices and experiences of 1,000 people who are, or have been, in care.

The FM spent yesterday afternoon (21 January) learning about how it feels to be in secure care, understanding the environment that is home to the young people and hearing about the personal experiences from some of the young people there.

The First Minister made her commitment to listen to 1,000 Voices in 2016 and, shortly afterwards, announced the Independent Care Review which is chaired by Fiona Duncan.  The Review will look at, not only the experience of being in care, but also what causes children and young people to come into care in the first place as well as what happens when they leave.

Kibble is committed to developing its current services in line with The Review through its care for young people, while providing them with an education that is extended into the workforce within their social enterprises, and on to follow up support once they have left care.

The specialist care provider recently launched its Transition Team, offering extended support to care leavers to ensure they make positive and healthy steps as they move into an independent life with further education and employment.

The First Minister learned more about each of the care provider’s initiatives during her tour of the premises, which included a visit to the Safe Centre where young people, some with mental health issues, receive individual treatment plans enhanced by new and innovative interventions.

Jim Gillespie, chief executive at Kibble, said: “It was an honour to welcome the First Minister to our Paisley campus as part of the 1,000 Voices initiative, giving those living in care the platform to be heard like never before.

“It is imperative that the children and young people living in care are helping to shape the services that they encounter around the clock, using their own experiences, views and lessons learned to constantly improve and develop the way we look after our current and future generations.

“Our services continue to be redefined each year as we work closely with the young people on campus and around Scotland to ensure that they are given a chance at life. It is our hope that the outcome of 1,000 Voices initiative will support us in our offering of safe and supportive housing, education and employment for some of the most vulnerable young people in Scotland.”

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said: “I am determined that we do everything we can to improve the life chances of young people in care who depend on us to make sure they enjoy safe, fulfilling, secure and loving childhoods.  Responsibility for young people with care experience is arguably the single most important responsibility I have and that is why I have made it a priority to improve the support we provide and it is why I commissioned the Independent Care Review.

“It was my absolute privilege to meet the young people at the Kibble safe centre and Mossway residential house and to hear how Kibble is supporting their specific needs.  I am clear that any support we provide to children and young people must have their best interests and welfare at heart so I was pleased to see this ethos underpinning everything that Kibble is designing and delivering for its young people.”

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